Monday, October 21, 2013



Foiled title aside, it has a weave textured cover not unlike the old (read: original) 1E manuals. The paper used is even a non-glossy cream, instead of the slick, stark white of more recent game books. And a Mullen cover, in case the look and feel of the book wasn't enough to invoke the games of old. Nice nods all around.

Received Torchbearer earlier this month, but hadn't the chance to mention it. According to the Kickstarter page, estimated due date was September, received in October. I count that as on time, especially seeing as the PDF was sent out way before that.

I'm willing to given more than a two or three months leeway for Kickstarters and that's not even due to the chronic lateness of projects. I'm used to the pace of patron projects like Open Design where the design and discussion is laid open to participants who are integrated into the process. As long as the communication and interaction is sufficient, I'm even good for time table changes on the scale of months or a year.

It feels good to back a prompt Kickstarter. Good on Luke Crane, Thor Olavsrud and the Burning Wheel team for running an efficient project (and wisely choosing to limit the project scope by eschewing stretch goals). For every project that crashed and burned, I've probably participated in at least two that were good (or made good). We'll do an actual count someday.

Also, huzzah for game designers and game companies in New York.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thirty Days of D&D, Day 30+: Afterword

So what did I take away from all this?

Based on the views of each post page, the most active topic wasn't even part of the Thirty Days challenge, but a reversal of the favorite gameworld topic. With views of over two or three times above most of the other posts, it seems negativity pulls in eyeballs or at least draws mouse clicks.

Now that the Thirty Days challenge has concluded, I can take a look back to see the entire thing as one activity. As the daily prompts oriented towards the blogger's own thoughts and experience, the topics were easy to tackle even if they offered limited use to any potential reader.

Though I didn't complete the challenge on time, I managed to ramble over 8000 words across 16 posts on the various daily topics and covered all the topics. Long winded, probably, but this was the most I've written about anything in a long time. At an average of 500 words per post and with about a post every other day (despite the front loaded schedule), I've found a scale of what is feasible give my regular routine.

To put those word counts into perspective. When I was a patron of the Midgard Campaign setting, smaller elements submitted for review or voting, like mercenary companies, merchant houses and minor NPCs were about 150 words. Major NPCs and rulers were 300 - 400 words long, deities write-up were about 750, as were small kingdom submissions.

Personally I felt this productivity occured only because there was a list of tasks to complete. Even if real life obligations made the latter part of the month too hectic to complete the blog assignment on time, the loose list of topics were covered. The topics themselves being of questionable interest even to the writer, balanced out with the ease of content flow for the challenge. The next goal is to create ones own prompts to maintain some sort of output, hopefully on topics of more general interest.

Thirty Days of D&D, Day 24 - 30: Other Favorites and Miscellany

A belated conclusion, but a conclusion nonetheless.

Day 24: Favorite Energy Type
Of the standard energy types have to go with electricity. Always been more fond of the direct, right-in-your-face properties of the lightning bolt compared to a fireball, not that I would eschew using the old ball of fire in the right circumstances.

Of the more exotic energies, force is iconic for good reason based on the famous spells based on the type.

Lately, Super Genius Games' The Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic for Pathfinder RPG has tickled my pyromaniac self with their planar-tinged take on a cosmic "Fire Plus" energy type utilizing some properties of Force magic. Contradictory you might say, but the execution works very well with the literary precedents of hellfire.

Day 25: Favorite Magic Item
The simple Sword +1 (or Weapon +1) is worth mentioning because it represents one of the first permanent magical items groups will acquire. It's ubiquity and initiate status often means it's relegated to a backup or sold off eventually, but consider magic is often only laid upon weapons of exceptional or masterwork quality and magic itself preserves an item from wear, these swords and weapons could be centuries old and potential heirlooms. There humble enchanted arms hold untold histories.

Day 26: Favorite Non-magic Item
Flammable oils, if not alchemists fire (does an alchemical good count?). Either way, use oil to light your lantern (much more suitable for an enclosed dungeon than a torch), use it to grease a creaky hinge, use it as an oil slick, use it to light your foes on fire (especially trolls), the list goes on.

Day 27: A Character You Want to Play in the Future
See Day 9 about the archivist, but otherwise I wouldn't mind reactivating some old characters from abruptly halt games (ones due to flaky DMs or groups that just disband after a while).

Day 28: A Character You Will Never Play Again
Can't think of any. Would I play a character that didn't work so well the same as before? Unlikely, but little about characters I've played makes me adverse to give their character sheets a few more notches.

Day 29: What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?
I roll low when it should be high, such as during attacks (THAC0 or BAB, doesn't matter) and high when it should be low (stat and proficiency checks in 2E). True story.

Day 30: Best DM you've ever had
The one running the good game I'm in right now.

Not a facetious answer, a good DM/group/game combination is harder to come by than one who has a good group would often realize. Glad to be gaming.